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Tractor driver

Tractor drivers operate farm machinery used to plough fields, plant seeds, and spray and harvest crops.

Annual Salary

£16,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

60 to 62 seasonal

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays;

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • discuss work schedules with the farm manager
  • carry out equipment and machinery checks
  • input instructions into the cab’s control panels
  • plough fields and sow seeds
  • spray crops with fertilisers and pesticides
  • harvest vegetable, cereal and non-food crops
  • use baling machines to bind crops and hay ready for storage
  • maintain hedges and roadside verges with tractor cutting attachments
  • carry out basic maintenance and repairs

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work on a farm.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, cramped, noisy, physically demanding and dusty.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could do:

  • Level 2 Award in Tractor Driving and Related Occupations course at an agricultural college.
  • Level 2 Award in Safe Working in Agriculture and Production Horticulture

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
For more information

You could do an intermediate general farm worker apprenticeship that would give you some of the skills to do this job.

This apprenticeship typically takes 18 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

There are no set entry requirements if you want to apply directly but experience in farming or dairying could be useful. A knowledge of basic mechanics might also be helpful.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in farming from Tasty Careers.

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You can take further training to operate a wider range of machinery, which will increase your job prospects.

There are opportunities to work as a tractor driver in other sectors, for example construction or in local government working in the maintenance of outdoor spaces.

With experience, you could become a supervisor, an agricultural contractor, machinery engineer or farm manager.

Industry body Lantra has more information about farming careers.

You can find out more about working in farming from Tasty Careers.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • concentration skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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